Life and adventures of dance pioneer published

«We must not forget that today’s contemporary Greek dancers and choreographers are able to glow and create because they are treading on the red carpet once colored by the blood of the pioneers in Greek dance, Zouzou Nikoloudi, with her Chorika group, and Rallou Manou, with Greek Chorodrama,» wrote Dora Tsatsou a few months prior to her death. Just days ago, an event was held in remembrance of one of these two pioneers, Manou, at the Byzantine Museum in Athens, during which a new publication, «Rallou Manou Archive – Her Life and Work» (Ephesos Publications) was launched. The book was compiled by a team of academics led by professor Chrysothemi Stamatopoulou-Vassilakou of the Athens University’s faculty for theatrical studies. Despite the freezing weather, the book launch drew a considerable crowd, including various political figures and artists. All eyes were glued to a screen set up in the middle of the museum’s main room carrying the image of Manou as the late artist is depicted for the new book’s cover. «When, in the spring of 1999, the academic and professor Pavlos Mylonas, husband of Rallou Manou, pointed out the existence of his late wife’s rich and well-organized archive, which spans from 1938 to 1988, the year of her death, I immediately came up with the idea of utilizing it through the university I represent,» said Walter Puchner, a professor at Athens University’s faculty for theatrical studies. «So, we proceeded by planning the research, which ended up lasting four years after going through various stages,» the academic added. Professor Eleni Fessa-Emmanouil, a fellow faculty member, took the event’s attendees back in time with her focus on Manou’s «adventures in life and work,» spanning from the artist’s very first steps, when she joined a dance group headed by Koula Pratsika, to the establishment of her own group, Greek Chorodrama, in 1950. Sophia Mylona, head of Greek Chorodrama, spoke of Manou as an exceptionally dynamic personality. «Meeting her just once was enough to change your perspective of the world,» Mylona said. Mylona also spoke of Greek Chorodrama’s future plans, which include the revival of Manou’s entire body of choreographies.

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